Thursday, August 20, 2020

Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy and Mr. Bozo

Both of Dell's titles from Larry Harmon cartoons, after the first issues, are done by the same so far unidentified writer and artist on all the comics stories, including one-pagers and backups. Compare the titles of these stories from the second issue of each: Bozo the Clown #2 (April-June/63), and Laurel and Hardy #2, (March-May/63).

Bozo 2 Double-Trouble Flubble Bubble, L&H 2 Flip-Flop Tip-Top Secret

I don't recognize the styles from anything else at Dell--or in fact anywhere--so I suggest that the material was supplied by Larry Harmon's production company.

The first issues Dell evidently did in-house. Tony Tallarico, who had nothing to do with issues 2-4, did the art on Bozo #1--and as happened only occasionally at this point, without Bill Fraccio pencils.

Paul C. Ignizio has cited Laurel and Hardy as one of the titles he wrote for Dell, along with Car 54, Where Are You? and The Twist. If L&H #1 was indeed the only issue done at Dell, it's the one most likely to be his. A point of similarity that jumps out between L&H #1 and Car 54 #3 (Oct/62) is Indians who say "I/Me scalpum!" (I'm still looking over Car 54--I don't think Ignizio wrote every issue.)

(* = single page)

May-June/62 #1  Facts About Clowns [TEXT] * p, i: Tony Tallarico
    Circus to the Moon p, i: Tallarico
    The Chimp That Made a Monkey Out of Bozo
p, i: Tallarico
    The Worm That Had the Strangest Tale
p, i: Tallarico
    The Clown in Show Business [TEXT] *
p, i: Tallarico
    Make Up and Costumes of Clowns [TEXT] *
p, i: Tallarico


(* = single page)

Aug-Oct/62 #1  A Record Lunch * w: Paul C. Ignizio
    The Tourists w: Ignizio
    Bell of the Brawl * w: Ignizio
    Hair and There * w: Ignizio


  1. In later years, Larry Harmon had writers and artists producing Laurel & Hardy and Bozo comic book material which he licensed to publishers in other countries. I have no idea who the writers and artists were and some were apparently based in other countries. He may have started that enterprise at the time of the Dell comics and just couldn't get them or any other company to publish them in America. So the mystery creators may have been anywhere in the world...though the lettering on the example panels you run fits the art so well that those don't look like translated foreign comics to me.

    1. And just as they filled out the back of the one DC L&H comic book issue, those Harmon-supplied stories would have handily filled the planned L&H digest, the way the single published Tarzan one used Russ Manning strip material.

  2. I have never seen a professional comic book artist as angry at what was done to this work as Russ Manning was at the edit/paste-up job in that TARZAN DIGEST.

  3. Off topic a bit, but why oh why do cartoonists usually show Laurel (5'8'' tall) as significantly taller than Hardy (6'1")?
    Easily proved, check the IMDB for one.

    Makes me wonder if they have actually ever seen a L&H movie or short in their life.

  4. Correction; Glenn Mitchell's L&H Encyclopedia says Laurel was 5'9", which seems more probable, although even Mitchell says some say Stan was an inch taller.
    My point still stands.